By Cherry / Last Updated February 4, 2021

Scenario

I want to upgrade the hard disk for my Windows 10 laptop HDD to SSD, but I do not want to reinstall Windows OS and the applications. So I tried to clone my HDD to the new SSD. After clone, I removed the HDD and installed the SSD. However, when I started my laptop I found the SSD won’t boot after clone and I got the message as “no bootable device found”. What went wrong here? How can I solve it?

Why not able to boot from new SSD?

When computer users are eager to upgrade HDD to SSD for better performance, most of them would like to clone HDD to SSD to evade the hassle of reinstalling OS and applications from scratch. However, part of users may encounter a common problem like the scenario said, not able to boot from the new SSD. Why would that happened? Here we conclude some possible reasons.

1. The SSD was not the first boot device in BIOS.

2. The system partition is not active.

3. If your cloned drive is a GPT disk, and your PC does not support UEFI mode, then the SSD won’t boot after clone.

4. The Master Boot Record of the cloned SSD is damaged.

5. The boot sector wasn’t copied and you need to make sure that you copied all partitions.

Solutions to “cloned SSD not booting”

Different causes behind the “not able to boot from new SSD” issue requires the different solution. Generally, the following 5 solutions are recommended. You can try them one by one in order.

Solution 1.Verify the SSD is the first boot device

If the new cloned SSD is not set as the first boot device, it is more likely that you cannot boot from it and meet some error messages. To set it the first boot drive, do as following:

Step 1. Restart your computer and tap a function key like F2, F8, etc before the Windows logo shows up, and then you will enter the BIOS setup menu.

Step 2. Then access to the “Boot priority order” or “Boot order” menu. Select “Boot priority order” and hit on Enter.

Step 3. In the boot order list, you can check whether your boot disk is on the top of that list.

If your boot disk is there but not on the top, use the arrow key to move it to the top. Then press on “F10” to save the changes and exit the BIOS. Then reboot your PC. If the new SSD is not in the list, open your computer and connect it to the motherboard correctly, and set it as the first bootable device in BIOS.

Solution 2. Set the system partition active

If the primary/system partition is not set as "active", then you will be unable to boot from the new SSD. So please reset your primary partition as active using the Diskpart.

1. Boot your computer from the Windows installation media. Select the language and region, and then click "Repair your computer".

Repair Your Computer Windows 10

2. In a Windows 10 (or Windows 8.1, Windows 8) installation media, select "Troubleshoot" and then "Command Prompt". In a Windows 7 installation media, in "System Recovery Options", select the first item and Windows 7 as the operating system, click "Next" and then "Command Prompt".

3. In Command Prompt, execute the following command.

  • diskpart

  • select disk 0: 0 reprents the SSD drive number

  • list partition 1: 1 reprents the system partition number on the cloned SSD

  • active

Now, the system partition is set to active. Type "exit" and press Enter to exit diskpart and close Command Prompt.

Solution 3. Ensure the boot mode and SSD parititon style are compatible

It is well-known that MBR uses the Legacy BIOS boot mode while the GPT uses the UEFI boot mode. So, if your SSD is MBR and the boot mode is UEFI, or the SSD is GPT but the boot mode is Legacy BIOS, the cloned SSD won’t boot after clone, either. To solve this problem, first you can check partition style of the SSD (MBR or GPT).

If your SSD is GPT, you can change Legacy BIOS to UEFI boot mode as long as your motherboard supports. If your SSD is MBR, ensure the boot mode is Legacy BIOS, or you can convert the SSD from MBR to GPT.

Solution 4. Rebuild MBR on the SSD drive

The Master Boot Record plays an important role in successfully booting up a computer. If it is damaged, the cloned SSD won’t boot. To rebuild the MBR, you can use the free partition manager: AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. With it, you can first create a bootable WinPE media (that contains the pre-installed AOMEI PA Standard), boot computer from it and rebuild MBR. Download the freeware and do as below steps:

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Connect an empty USB drive to another working Windows computer. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard on that PC as well. Click on “Make Bootable Media” on the left side, and follow the steps to finish this operation.

Make Bootable Media

Step 2. Insert the bootable USB into the computer on which the SSD won’t boot. Change boot order, set the USB as the first device and boot computer from it.

Change Boot Order

Step 3. Once login, you will be in the main interface of AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Now right-click on the SSD, and choose “Rebuild MBR”.

Rebuild MBR

Step 4. Choose the proper MBR type for your current operating system.

Choose MBR Type

Step 5. Click on “Apply” and “Proceed” to submit the operation.

Apply

Solution 5. Clone all boot sectors to SSD

Boot sector wasn’t copied is a common reason that cause the problem “not able to boot from new SSD” after upgrading. For this question, using a reliable disk clone program to clone hard drive is the most secure way. For this task, you can upgrade the AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard to Professional edition, which can help you copy system hard drive to SSD and boot from the SSD successfully.

Step 1. Connect the SSD to your PC or laptop via SATA adapter, make sure it can be detected. Install AOMEI Partition Assistant to your computer based on Windows environment. Launch it. In the main interface, click Disk Clone Wizard.

Copy Wizard

Step 2. It will give you two copy methods: Clone Disk Quickly, Sector-by-Sector Clone. Here we highly recommend the first method.

Methods

Clone Disk Quickly: will only copy the used space on the original hard drive. You can even copy HDD to an smaller SSD, as only as it large enough for storing data on the HDD.
Sector-by-sector Clone: will copy every byte on the old hard drive no matter it used or not. The target disk should be larger than the old hard drive.

Step 3. Choose the HDD as the source disk.

Source Disk

Step 4. Choose the SSD as the target disk. Here you need to check the option of “Optimize the performance of SSD”. That would optimize the SSD’s performance during the process.

Target One

Step 5. AOMEI Partition Assistant allows you to edit partitions on the target disk. If you do not want to adjust the size of partitions, you can repartition hard drive with AOMEI Partition Assistant later.

Edit

Step 6. Here is a note about how to boot from the cloned disk. Read it and remember it. Click "Finish".

Note

Step 7. When you back to the main interface, click "Apply"-> "Proceed" to execute the progress.

Apply

After the progress done, you can remove the HDD from your laptop and install the SSD, and then boot from the SSD. Or you can get into BIOS to change boot mode so that you can boot from the cloned SSD. By the way, you can also only migrate OS drive to SSD/HDD with its "Migrate OS to SSD Wizard".

Conclusion

Those 5 methods can effectively help solve the problem “not able to boot from new SSD”. The AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard is aslo able to help set partition active, simpler than running complex commands, and convert disk between MBR and GPT without deleting partitions. Windows Server users could apply to AOMEI Partition Assistant Server edition for solving the hard disk problems.